Sunday, November 20, 2011
On my return flight home, I sat beside a gentleman who asked the question: "Why do you do what you do"? I answered his question, but over the past few days have pondered my response further.
World orphans is committed to rescuing orphans, strengthening indigenous churches, and impacting communities with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One of the primary ways that we see this accomplished is through the partnering of churches here with the indigenous church around the world.
Meet Milkessa from Ethiopia. We visited he and his new family while in country. My heart was deeply moved by the tender ways that his house father displayed loving affection towards the children within his care during our short visit with him. Milkessa was rescued about a year ago. His biological father got drunk, came home and killed his mother with a knife. He then fled the area and no one knows where he is. Milkessa was rescued, yet his other 5 brothers and one sister still remain in danger. A young boy without protection and hope now finds himself within the embrace of a loving father with the provision of spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental care.
World Orphans has provided an opportunity in the midst of this season for me and others to participate with the rescue of orphans like Milkessa through hosting a Home for the Holidays party. Invitations, information, and even recipe ideas are provided. All that is required is a date on your calendar, an open heart, and an open home. The invitation is for others who would gather together over a hot cup of cider and hear more about the plight of those orphaned, destitute, and abandoned in this world.
As I contemplate Emmanuel - "God with us" and what I might have to offer the least of these this Christmas season, I am reminded of Jesus' words to His disciples that He is in us and will provide for the rescue of the orphan through us.
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans but I will come to you."
From one orphan to another,
Until they all have homes.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Tuesday would begin our first day of training. We began each day with a heartfelt and precious time of worship and prayer. Worshiping with the church in Ethiopia was one of my greatest blessings! Although I couldn't understand many of the words, my heart was deeply moved as we, with one voice, lifted high the name of Christ and exalted Him together.
Trauma and issues that we face are real. We were encouraged to engage and embrace the families in our HBC ministry, holistically. Our goal must be nothing less than healing for the whole person. The healing that we desire for those within our care will be a process and must be anchored by hope and the object of this hope is Jesus. 'come to me' in my distress. It was in these times that there was sharing of tears and the connection of hearts, from one orphan to another. What wasn't expected was that we would have several share from the attendees out of their own stories. It was in and through these testimonies that I believe we turned the corner from becoming 'just another training' with the accomplishing of 'our agenda' to making room for what was most important through the impartation of the Holy Spirit. I taught about trauma and the loss of my own father as a young girl. It was in God's mercy, that He would provide spiritual fathers and others who would see my need and
Thursday, October 13, 2011
The Heart of a Mother, the Blessing of Children, the Rescue of Orphans, and the Greatness of my GOD!
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Thursday, May 12, 2011
World Orphans partnered with Together for Adoption, CCTI (Crisis Care Training International), and 3 educators from Arlington, TX to bring five days of Grace-filled Holistic Care Training in Haiti for 100 OVC team members, pastors and teachers.
It has been 16 months since the earthquake and the emotional ‘aftershocks’ continue. Bigger earthquakes result in larger aftershocks. Just as recurrent rumblings and shaking immediately follow a large earthquake, the ongoing emotional tremors of many Haitians have resulted in shattered hearts that are still terrified to re enter concrete buildings.
Care givers are weary, children are orphaned and families are still reeling in the aftermath of fewer resources and ongoing grief. The foundation that was once under-foot is still on shaky ground in Port-Au-Prince.
Bridging the chasm of suffering and loss resulting from natural disaster to the love of God can be challenging and is best understood in the context of Christ’s suffering all the way to cross.
We began our training by establishing the rock solid foundation of hope that is found in the reality that, adoption was not given to us apart from the Gospel of Jesus Christ - “Rather, adoption is nothing less than the placement of sons in the Son”(Reclaiming Adoption-Dan Cruver).
The following days were spent unpacking the wonders of God’s grace through Christ in the areas of communication, trauma care, and education. We were reminded that as ministers of God’s grace, our personal reliance and continued growth in the knowledge of grace is vitally important.
Emotional rebuilding and equipping of our OVC team members, pastors, and teachers are essential to the ministry of World Orphans as we seek to care for the whole child/person, spiritually-physically-emotionally and mentally. Even when ‘trauma = loss’, there is no loss so great that it can separate us from the love of God.
Our friends from CCTI guided the team members, pastors, and teachers through a children’s book specifically designed to help children work through the traumatic effects of the earthquake. They drew pictures of themselves and how they felt when the earthquake took place. Taking time to process their personal wounds opens them up for ongoing healing and a greater ability to assist children in trusting God through recurrent fear and sorrow. We concluded our time by praying for one another in small groups.
The educators finished out the training by encouraging the OVC team members, pastors and teachers that they are God’s workmanship who are created for purpose. They relayed practical suggestions for engaging the children and motivating them to learn. The OVC teachers spoke candidly about the daily difficulties they encounter in the classroom as the children are reluctant to learn and slower to comprehend following the earthquake.
The rumbling continues, yet our time together with the OVC team members, pastors and teachers assured me that there is indeed rebuilding taking place and a solid foundation that will never be moved. The local church is alive and well in our OVC program and we are grateful for our US partners who continue to support the work of these churches.
“For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1Corinthians 3:11)